Salesforce Commerce Cloud's Limitations and How to Face Them - Front-Commerce

Is Your E-Commerce Architecture Holding You Back? Headless Commerce for SFCC

Dive into the video below to explore the limitations of monolithic e-commerce platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud and how headless commerce can be a powerful alternative. We’ll delve into the drawbacks of monolithic architecture, including limited customization, performance issues, and challenges with omnichannel selling. We’ll also discuss the hidden costs associated with monolithic platforms, in the guise of lengthy development times, integration expenses, and restricted innovation. Finally, learn about the benefits of headless commerce, including superior flexibility, improved performance, personalization capabilities, mobile-first optimization, and seamless third-party integrations.

We’ll also explore how Salesforce users can leverage headless commerce while still utilizing their SFCC back-end, and offer solutions to simplify the implementation process. By the end of the video, you’ll be able to determine if headless commerce is the right fit for your business.

Read the video transcript below:

The main issue is that Salesforce Commerce Cloud, like many e-commerce platforms, is monolithic.

When users feel like their storefront is stuck in slow motion or that the customization options are too limited or handling large product catalogues or managing significant spikes in traffic is risky, then they’re actually already facing the limitations of a monolithic ecommerce architecture.

A monolithic platform is a traditional system where the front-end (what the customer sees) and the back-end (database, server-side logic, and essentially the e-commerce functionality) are tightly coupled together in one codebase and operate as a single unit. Imagine a single large building that houses everything from the storefront to the stockroom. This sounds logical, but for businesses, it can be a nightmare.

One of the limitations of a monolothic architecture is the restriction on customization capabilities. Monolithic platforms offer little flexibility in design and functionality changes. And extensive customization requires complex development work, which drives up costs and time.

There are also Performance Issues. Monolithic structures can struggle with speed. Everything is intertwined, so if one element slows down (for example because of an overloaded database), the entire storefront going to feel sluggish. This translates to slow loading times, which is a major turn-off for customers.

Monolithic isn’t great when it comes to Omnichannel either. Adapting to different sales channels like mobile or social selling can be difficult. These platforms just aren’t built for that kind of agility.

Maintenance is also a real issue. Constantly updating and fixing a complex system sucks up resources and slows down innovation. Not to mention again the associated costs.

Users will also have difficulty scaling. As their business grows, the monolithic platform might not keep up. Adding features or handling increased traffic can become difficult and expensive. Imagine a store that can’t expand its physical space to accommodate more customers.

They do, and these hidden costs can significantly impact your bottom line.

  • For example, users have to consider longer development times and higher costs: Customizing and maintaining a monolithic storefront demands significant resources and expertise. The lack of system flexibility leads to lengthy development cycles, complex modifications, and increased expenses, delaying time-to-market for new features and updates.
  • These platforms’ lack of speed can also result in lost sales opportunities. Studies have shown that a one-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% decrease in conversion rates. So imagine the impact on your revenue with a sluggish storefront! Slow loading times and a clunky user experience will drive customers away.
  • There are also hidden integration costs. Integrating your Salesforce store with third-party tools and services can be expensive due to the need for custom work and ongoing maintenance. These costs can quickly eat into your profits.
  • And another thing to consider is the lack of possible innovation: The rigid structure of monolithic platforms can make it difficult to adopt new technologies or adapt to changing market trends. This can put you at a competitive disadvantage.

Overall, businesses using a monolithic platform typically spend up to 30% more on development compared to those using more flexible solutions. That’s a significant chunk of your budget going towards maintaining an outdated system.

The best way to solve these issues is to adopt a Headless commerce architecture.

Headless commerce offers a whole new way of thinking about e-commerce. It decouples, or separates the frontend from the backend, allowing users to gain greater development flexibility, improved web performance and a mobile-first approach. And one of the keys to the success of headless is the API connectors. Thanks to these APIs, you’re able to connect any third-party solution to your existing backend. The possibilities are endless.

  • You’ll have unparalleled flexibility. With headless commerce your frontend is freed from the backend, making to easier to implement changes, such as storefront design modifications. So you’re going to gain greater control over the customer experience.
  • Your site performance will greatly improve. Every second counts in a smooth shopping experience and Headless architectures are built for speed. You’ll get lightning-fast page loading which keeps customers engaged for longer.
  • You will have a personalization powerhouse at your fingertips: Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all storefronts. Headless commerce allows you to create a unique experience for each customer. This can include recommending products based on past purchases or offering seamless buy-online-pickup-in-store options.
  • Headless prioritises mobile-optimisation: and in today’s mobile-driven world, a responsive storefront is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Headless commerce allows you to build Progressive Web Apps that offer app-like experiences on any device. So whether your customers are browsing on a smartphone, tablet, or their laptop, the shopping experience will be seamless.
  • Headless also offers more freedom to integrate new solutions. You can connect your store to a wider range of third-party tools and services. Such as marketing automation, specific payment solutions or AI-powered search – the possibilities are endless.

All in all, remember that Headless commerce isn’t just about technical advantages; it’s about empowering e-commerce to create a dynamic and engaging experience in line with customer demand.

Implementation is easier than you might think. The good news is, Commerce Cloud actually has headless capabilities! Salesforce users can leverage a headless architecture while still using the SFCC backend they know and trust. However going headless does require careful planning and potentially a broader range of development skills.

That’s where solutions like Front-Commerce come in. Front-Commerce provides a pre-built front-end solution specifically designed to work seamlessly with Commerce Cloud’s headless capabilities. This means you can achieve all the benefits of headless commerce without the need for extensive custom development.

So if you are feeling limited by your current platform or are experiencing any of the issues I talked about here, then I’d wager to guess that headless commerce is right for you. In the same vein, if you want to achieve greater flexibility, speed, and innovation, then headless commerce is definitely worth exploring.

If you’d like to learn more, head over to our blog to access Headless Salesforce Commerce Cloud resources